Perlman's Fine Jewelry Set to Open in Downtown Geneva
Geneva really is a gem of a community, and we have reasons to continue celebrating in the downtown.
The intersection of State and Third streets gets another boost this week as Perlman Fine Jewelry gets set to open.
Owner Corey Perlman said Tuesday that the opening likely is happening this week, although he's not sure which day. Employees are still putting the finishing touches on the interior design. An official grand opening is being planned, possibly for the days of Feb. 8-9, Perlman said.
Exciting news for the landmark corner in downtown Geneva, and it couldn't come at a better time.
With the Grunwalds' retirement early in 2012 after 38 years as a mainstay jewelry business and with the recent retirement of State Street Jewelers' Donna Zollner, Perlman brings another longtime family business to Geneva's friendly confines. Perlman's move from its previous location in the Geneva Commons also represents a kind of reverse migration that a lot of downtown business owners are celebrating.
"We’ve always had a great affection for downtown Geneva, and you couldn’t ask for a better corner to be on," Perlman said in a brief phone interview Tuesday. "For myself in retail, it’s a very visible corner with a lot of pedestrian and vehicle traffic—and that's a very important aspect of business."
The Perlmans have operated a jewelry business for two generations. Corey Perlman's dad learned the trade with the internationally known Elgin Watch Company after returning from service in World War II, and he passed the business to Corey, who started working in the shop when he was just 14.
It's that personal care, quality and attention to detail that Perlman says makes his business successful.
"It’s family owned and operated—we've been in the area for 52 years now—and we've always specialized at better-quality designer pieces," he said. "Our emphasis is going to be on fine jewelry and silver jewelry—it's a more affordable metal than gold and has become quite popular."
The business also specializes in repair and design. Many of Perlman's employees have been with the company for 25 years or more.
"That’s experience and expertise you don’t find in a lot of stores," he said.
With Perlman's opening, three of the four corners of the landmark intersection will have tenants—a big step up from seven months ago, when three of the four corner buildings were vacant. Since then, Even Flow opened its music/bistro venue in the 302 West, former State Bank building and Perlman's announced its move to the corner late last year.
Mike Simon, who owns the former Merra-Lee Shops, says he is continuing to seek a tenant for that building and hopes to have an announcement sometime in February.
Meanwhile, the city of Geneva says occupancy rates for the downtown are steadily improving, up to 93 percent, according to a report by the city's Economic Development Department.
Some of that has to do with successful marketing, but some has to do with simple demand. For Perlman, the fundamentals of the jewelry business haven't changed, and that makes the corner business at Third and State very attractive.
"There are always new and creative ways to look at your business, and we do that all the time," he said. "But in some ways, it hasn’t changed much. People still like to wear jewelry, and they look for items that are made well, that are stylish and wearable.
"Fashions come and go," he said. "But people still want to find quality."